Bright Box, SU form partnership

By LAURA MCFARLAND

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Shenandoah Conservatory and Bright Box Theater are planning to make beautiful music together.

The university and entertainment venue announced this week they have formed a partnership to bring Shenandoah Conservatory performances to downtown Winchester.

Bright Box owner Marilyn Finnemore said she had been working with conservatory Dean Michael Stepniak since early this year to bring a series of performances to the theater she owns with her husband, Aldo Bello.

The series will launch Oct. 4 with the first of 10 concerts that have been scheduled through April, she said. The performance is SF Jazz Collective. “There is a potential to go up to 30 each year, but 10 are scheduled.”

A new music season launch party will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Bright Box, 15 N. Loudoun St. It is free and open to the public.

Stepniak said he is eager to increase the conservatory’s presence “in Winchester’s thriving and growing downtown” and is looking forward to seeing the performances in the theater’s “ elegant and sophisticated atmosphere.”

“Marilyn has created a gem of a performance space,” he said. “Bright Box offers our students the superb opportunity to gain experience performing in an intimate and state-of-the-art downtown venue.”

Performances will be curated by assistant professor David T. Little, director of composition and coordinator of new music, and Sloan MacRae, conservatory managing director and artistic director of Performing Arts Live.

Some of the concerts scheduled include the following: Downtown Ghosts, Oct. 10; EarCandy, Nov. 1; Pulitzer Prize- winning composer Kevin Puts, Nov. 1 5 ; Todd Reynolds, Feb. 27, and Assad Family Brazilian Songbook, April 4.

The performances are from various Shenandoah series, MacRae said. Seven of them, including two free performances, belong to Shenandoah New Music, a “powerful new contemporary art music series curated by David T. Little.”

The SF Jazz Collective and Assad Family shows are part of Performing Arts live, and a faculty jazz concert set for Oct. 25 is a special event to better acquaint the jazz faculty with the community, he said.

“All of these concerts, presented in such a personal and sophisticated setting, will make for unforgettable experiences,” he said.

The partnership will open a whole new door for Shenandoah Conservatory’s performances to broaden its audience, Finnemore said. Some people are more interested in coming to “ an intimate venue in Old Town with beautiful old historic buildings and restaurants” than going to a college campus.

“This is a really great way to bring the conservatory crowd down and have a great venue for students and faculty, and first-class performances from around the world can perform in a cutting edge, state-of-the-art performance venue,” she said.

INFORMATION

Tickets will be sold at the Shenandoah Conservatory box office at 540-665-4569 or at conservatoryperforms.org beginning Monday.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com

The series will launch Oct. 4 with the first of 10 concerts that have been scheduled through April. The first performance is SF Jazz Collective. A new music season launch party will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Bright Box, 15 N. Loudoun St. It is free and open to the public.

08/02/2013